There are so many benefits that come with keeping live plants in your home. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also improve your indoor air quality and make you feel good. Studies have shown that caring for plants can contribute to your overall well-being and reduce stress.
If your plants live indoors, you might not think much about the change of season. However, even indoor plants need different care in the wintertime. We've asked a few of our brokers with green thumbs for their recommendations. Follow these tips, and you'll have happy plants all season long!
- Let There Be Light
Wintertime means shorter days, and the lack of light can impact both plants and people. Your plants are naturally going to receive less sun, and when the sun does come in, it comes at a lower angle. You'll want to make sure you put your plants in a spot where they'll get enough light to keep them happy and healthy. This may mean moving them from their current locations or even adding a grow-light. If you can, put them near a west or south-facing window where it's sunny most of the day. Make sure the windows are clean on the inside and outside so light can get through. You'll also want to carefully dust your plant's leaves, as dust can make it harder for them to absorb light. Each time you water, rotate your plants a little bit. This way, they'll grow evenly.
- Keep it Humid
Lack of humidity is a common problem plant-parents face during the winter months. Turning the heat on in your home can drop humidity levels to 10 to 20 percent, while most plants prefer levels around 50%. To combat this, start by clustering your plants together in groups. The water that they release from their leaves will create a natural humidity. If this doesn't do the trick, consider adding a humidifier or placing your plants on a tray with water and stones (make sure the pots are not sitting in the water). You can also mist your plants, but unless you do it multiple times a day, this may not be sufficient. Depending on the temperature and light conditions, you may want to consider moving your plants into the bathroom or kitchen, where they'll get extra humidity from the shower and/or from boiling water.
- Adjust Your Watering Schedule
Although the air is drier in the winter, your indoor plants don't need more water! Many plants go dormant during the winter season, and over-watering can lead to deadly root rot. Be careful not to water every time the soil on the surface looks dry. Instead, poke your finger an inch or two below the surface and only water when the deeper levels feel dry. It is important, however, to make sure that you don't wait until the leaves start to droop or fall off. It's a great idea to read up on each plant's specific watering needs and adjust accordingly.
- Watch the Temperature
Most indoor houseplants prefer daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees and nighttime lows above 50 degrees. To make sure your plants stay happy and healthy, you'll want to keep them far enough away from windows where they could experience cold drafts and from heat sources like ovens, fireplaces, or radiators. If you move your plants, try to do it slowly. Sudden fluctuations in temperature can be just as bad for your plants as prolonged periods of extreme cold or heat.
- Put Them on a Diet
Just like people, plants need to rest sometimes. Most types of houseplants go dormant in the winter, so fertilizing them will upset their natural cycle. When the spring comes, you'll notice your plants starting to perk up and create new growth. When this happens, you can give them a dose of fertilizer, which will give them a boost for the new growing season.
- Beware of Pests
Last but certainly not least, keep an eye out for pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats. Indoor winter conditions, including low light, turning on your heaters, and using a humidifier, all increase the chances that your plants might become home to unwelcome guests.
Do you want to be in your dream home before winter is over? We're sure the perfect property is out there waiting for you! Contact us today to start exploring some of the best Seattle homes for sale!